Winds in the east, there's a mist comin' in
Like somethin' is brewin' and 'bout to begin.
Can't put me finger on what lies in store,
But I feel what's to happen all happened before.
- Bert, Mary Poppins
So maybe this time it wasn’t Mary Poppins blowing in, but another strong-minded lassie named Sandy….as in Hurricane Sandy. Broadway came to a complete halt this week because of the “Frankenstorm” and challenged the phrase, “the show must go on” because well…it didn’t! The official press release from the Broadway League stated, “As a result of the suspension of public transportation by government authorities in preparation for the incoming storm, all Broadway performances on Sunday evening, October 28th and Monday evening, October 29th will be cancelled.” The cancellation of shows continued on through Tuesday, October 30th as well for the same reason.
Living in Houston, we are certainly no stranger to the damages and aftermaths of a devastating hurricane. It wasn’t very long ago that TUTS had to shut its doors during the run of The Color Purple because of Hurricane Ike. At that time, The Color Purple was on a national tour and had to continue on to their committed destinations but promised to come back to Houston to fulfill their time. It was well worth the wait for them to come back!
I’m not sure how Houston has managed to dodge a single hurricane in over four years. Perhaps the lyrics in My Fair Lady should change to “In Hartford, Hereford, and Houston / Hurricanes hardly happen.” I think we would ALL be OK with that!
Speaking of My Fair Lady, it’s hardly ever I let a blog go by without mentioning my favorite lady, Julie Andrews. (Don’t worry, this story has a hurricane connection!) When Julie first came to America she was barely 19 years old. She was starring in the Broadway premiere of The Boy Friend; the original Polly Brown. One day, Andrews says, she looked up and saw that it was raining, but didn't think much of it. After all, she only had to go around the block for rehearsal. ''So I got outside and the wind was blowing quite hard. When I came to a corner I had to hang on to a lamppost because my feet were practically lifted up. When I got to rehearsal, there wasn't a soul around. I asked the stage-door gentleman, 'Where is everybody?' 'Honey,' he said, 'that's Hurricane Hazel out there.' I had no idea!" Don’t you just love her?
Theatre Under The Stars and myself would like to wish all our friends, family and Broadway colleagues a safe and quick recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Our thoughts are with you.
Until next time,